Professional Decision Making

PROFESSIONAL DILEMMA? WHERE TO START

Check in on your distress level

Check in on your distress level (0-100). Emotions motivate us to take action, but these issues are rarely absolute emergencies and “fix it” reactions often make things worse (e.g. immediately emailing, charting, calling the patient).

Consider actively managing your stress response first

Take a moment for one of the following activities so you are centered and can approach this challenge with nuance.

Pause & Take Stock of your reactions

change your environment (go on a walk)

Call a trusted person

attend to your body (food, drink, restroom)

Ask Yourself

Does this issue have:

A legal aspect

Are there are laws or rules that govern these issues?

From Benke, 2014

A risk management aspect

 Is there potential to be sued or other liability issues? 

A clinical aspect

 Is what is best for client care unclear? 

An ethical aspect

Is there a tension between multiple ethical principles? Between competing values?

Contact an attorney or your liability insurance hotline.

Contact your malpractice and business insurance for guidance.

Consult with an experienced colleague.

Contact your national organization, agency ethics team or other ethics specialist.

A legal aspect

Are there are laws that govern these issues?

Benke, 2014

Contact an attorney or your liability insurance hotline.

A Risk Management aspect

 Is there potential to be sued or other liability issue? 

Contact your malpractice and business insurance for guidance.

A clinical aspect

 Is what is best for patient care is unclear? 

Consult with an experienced clinician.

An ethical aspect

Is knowing what is morally helpful is unclear?

Contact your national organization, agency ethics team or other ethics specialist.

Write down your options

Write down ethically and professionally defensible options, even those that you might dismiss.

Consider expected consequences.

Make a choice and document

Make a choice and document the steps you took and your rationale.

Reflect

Reflect on the outcomes and resulting moral emotions from the situation.

Your Personal outcomes

Your Professional Outcomes

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